Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: So. California
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Update on Lana after Trifexis
Last fall I posted in the new members forum about Lana, our elderly golden who was displaying symptoms of a brain tumor. She had seizures, weakness in her back legs and was wobbly. Prior to developing these symptoms late last summer, Lana was a healthy girl. She loved to swim, run and play, and although she tired a little more easily than before she was bright and alert and energetic for an almost 13 year old golden.
About 2 months prior to Lana's first seizure I started her on Trifexis at the recommendation of a new vet (we had moved). She had been on Interceptor all of her life with no side effects. I was reluctant to give her Trifexis but was assured it was "very safe," even for older dogs.
I was looking for any stomach issue, such as vomiting, but I failed to connect Trifexis with weakness in her back legs, a symptom that began about a month after starting the drug. Another month later she seized, once a day for 3 days in a row. I stopped the Trifexis, of course, and took her back to our original vet, who practices both Western and Eastern medicine. She agreed we should stop the Trifexis and all flea or heartworm preventatives (temporarily), gave her acupuncture and a brain supplement called Prevagen. She thought it was likely that Lana had a benign brain tumour, but we all agreed we would make her comfortable and "wait and see."
I am delighted to report that Lana began improving immediately. I'm not sure whether the Prevagen (expensive!) is working, but I don't want to stop just in case it is! It also is called Neutricks for dogs, but we have been giving the people capsule.
As of this morning, now 5 months later, Lana has had no more seizures. Every day she gets better, not worse. This morning she enjoyed a run on the beach. When the water is calm she swims in the Pacific Ocean, she plays with other dogs, and would chase a ball if she could see it (she has cataracts.) She is once again alert and responsive, although getting very cheeky and spoiled in her old age. She turned 13 in January. Her hind end is strong again. She climbs up stairs with little effort, runs downstairs and can still hop into the car. We are so very grateful.
I am writing this long post to warn anyone who may see these symptoms in an otherwise previously healthy dog. Trifexis can have severe side effects--not for all dogs, I know, but if I had continued to give the drug, as our new vet recommended, saying it was safe and would not have caused these symptoms, there is no doubt Lana would be gone by now. We notified Elanco but they did not seem interested enough to need more details. Our story has a happy ending, and we hope this will help someone else who may find themselves in a similar situation.